Game recaps involving Canadian NHL teams, plus the latest on the Oilers and Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans can finally breathe easy. It doesn’t matter now where they ultimately finish in the standings (though obviously the higher the better), they’re going to be in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The win puts the Leafs two points behind the fourth overall Boston Bruins, two points up on the NY Islanders, three up on the Senators, and five up on the eighth overall NY Rangers.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks can thank goaltender Cory Schneider, as they were outplayed by the Wings in third period.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The floundering Canadiens suffered their fourth loss in their last five games, falling 5-1 to the Washington Capitals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not that the Canadiens are losing, it’s how they’re losing. Since clinching a playoff berth over a week ago, it’s like they’ve mentally checked out , especially when it comes to their defensive play. Until this past week, the Habs were being mentioned as a serious Cup contender and Carey Price a nominee for the Vezina Trophy. Not any more. Price has been inconsistent, scrambling madly in his crease, while his defense has been porous.
WINNIPEG SUN: John Tavares shootout goal lifted the NY Islanders to a 5-4 win over the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The loss puts the Jets one point behind the eighth overall NY Rangers, who have a game in hand, and three back of the division-leading Capitals. Basically, the Jets cannot afford another loss in their remaining three games.
CALGARY SUN/CALGARY HERALD: Flames winger Curtis Glencross will miss the remainder of this season to a knee injury, while the club announced the re-signing of goaltender Joey MacDonald to a one-year, one-way, $925K contract.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers face a tough finish to this season.